Italian Opera in Global and Transnational Perspective

Italian Opera in Global and Transnational Perspective#

Reimagining Italianità in the Long Nineteenth Century#

Read the new publication by Prof. Axel Körner, University College London, and Paulo M. Kühl, University of Campinas, Brazil. Prof. Körner was elected to membership in Academia Europaea this year as member of the History and Archaeology and Musicology and Art History sections.

The book of essays discusses the European and global expansion of Italian opera and the significance of this process for debates on opera at home in Italy. Covering different parts of Europe, the Americas, Southeast and East Asia, it investigates the impact of transnational musical exchanges on notions of national identity associated with the production and reception of Italian opera across the world. As a consequence of these exchanges between composers, impresarios, musicians and audiences, ideas of operatic Italianness (italianità) constantly changed and had to be reconfigured, reflecting the radically transformative experience of time and space that throughout the nineteenth century turned opera into a global aesthetic commodity. The book opens with a substantial introduction discussing key concepts in cross-disciplinary perspective and concludes with an epilogue relating its findings to different historiographical trends in transnational opera studies.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Online publication date: March 2022
Print publication year: 2022
Online ISBN: 9781108920636

Axel Körner
Prof. Axel Körner (Photo: Riccardo Mandelli)

About the author#

Axel Körner is Professor of Modern Cultural and Intellectual History at Leipzig University and Honorary Professor at University College London. After undergraduate studies at FU and TU Berlin, he obtained a Maîtrise d'Histoire from Lyon II, France (1991) and a PhD from the European University Institute, Florence (1995). He held visiting positions at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and at New York University. In addition to modern Italian, European and Habsburg history, as well as transnational history and the history of political thought, he published widely on the history of opera and music in transnational perspective. His America in Italy. The United States in the Political Thought and Imagination of the Risorgimento, 1763 - 1865 (Princeton, 2017) won the Helen & Howard Marraro Prize of the American Historical Association.

His main area of interest is the cultural and intellectual history of Europe between the late 18th and the early 20th centuries. Most of his work is in the fields of Italian, French, German and Habsburg History, with a specific focus on the transnational flow of ideas, goods and people. A particular field of cross-disciplinary research is European music theatre, in particular nineteenth-century Italian and German opera.

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